Lâ€™Shanah Tovah 5777
Supplement to Jewish News September 19, 2016
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
5777 Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Religious Holidays 5777 Leil Selichot September 24, 2016 Rosh Hashanah October 3–4, 2016 Yom Kippur October 12, 2016 Sukkot October 17-18, 2016 Shmini Atzeret October 24, 2016 Simchat Torah October 25, 2016 Hanukkah December 25, 2106– January 1, 2017 Tu BiShvat February 11, 2017 Purim March 12, 2017 Pesach April 11–12, 2017
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Upcoming Special Features Issue Date Topic
5776: The year in review Ben Harris
(JTA)—A stabbing and car-ramming epidemic in Israel that some called a third intifada was among the most dominant Jewish stories of the past year. But 5776 was also notable for the release of spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in prison, the communal fallout from the Iran nuclear deal, a historic (and unfinished) agreement on egalitarian worship at the Western Wall and continuing clashes between pro-Israel students and the BDS movement on college campuses. Below is a timeline of the Jewish year’s major events—the good, the bad and, in the case of the deaths of some Jewish giants, the very sad.
September 2015 Some 53 major American Jewish groups issue a call for unity and recommitment to American and Israeli security following the Sept. 17 deadline for Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal. Overall, 19 of 28 Jewish members of Congress support the deal, which is vigorously opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College reverses a longstanding ban on accepting rabbinical students with non-Jewish partners. The move proves to be controversial, leading seven rabbis and one Florida synagogue to quit the movement in response.
fear of harming Israel’s alliance with Turkey. In May, the ADL’s new chief, Jonathan Greenblatt, writes in a blog post that the massacre of Armenians was “unequivocally genocide.” An Israeli couple is killed in the West Bank while driving with four of their six children. Eitam and Naama Henkin, both in their 30s, were returning to their home settlement of Neria. Their children are unharmed. In June, four Palestinians are sentenced to life in prison for the killings.
Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here,’” Netanyahu said. Amid an outcry, Netanyahu modifies his statement, emphasizing that Hitler bore responsibility for the Holocaust. Palestinian rioters set fire to Joseph’s Tomb, a Jewish holy site in the West Bank, amid continuing Israeli-Palestinian unrest. The violence began in September following an Israeli raid on the Temple Mount that uncovered a cache of weapons, which led to clashes that spread to the West Bank. Portuguese officials approve the naturalization of a Panamanian descendant of Sephardic Jews, the first individual to receive Portuguese citizenship under a 2013 law that entitled such individuals to repatriation. Days earlier, Spain approved the granting of citizenship to 4,302 descendants of Spanish Jews exiled during the Spanish Inquisition under a similar law.
Pope Francis meets Jewish leaders in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate, the landmark declaration that rejected collective Jewish guilt for the killing of Christ and paved the way for improved Jewish-Catholic relations. In the meeting in St. Peter’s Square, Francis declares: “Yes to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity. No to anti-Semitism.”
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs calls on Jewish groups to lobby for official American recognition of the Armenian genocide. Though most historians say the killing or deportation of 1.5 million Armenians by Turkish forces during World War I constitutes a genocide, many American Jewish groups—including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee —had previously declined to do so for
Israeli Pr ime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu draws fire for claiming the mufti of Jerusalem gave Hitler the idea to exterminate the Jews at a 1941 meeting. “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time; he wanted to expel the
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is found guilty of corruption. An Orthodox Jew who wielded vast power as one of the New York state government’s proverbial “three men in a room,” Silver was convicted of using his position to win millions through various kickback schemes and no-show jobs. Silver is sentenced to 12 years in jail in May.
The Palestinian flag is raised at U.N. headquarters in New York for the first time. The move follows a 119–8 vote of the General Assembly on Sept. 10 to allow the flag at the headquarters. Israel and the United States are among the dissenters, along with Canada and Australia.
Jonathan Pollard, the former American Naval intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel, is freed from federal prison after 30 years. Under the terms of his parole, Pollard is prohibited from traveling to Israel, though he offers to renounce his American citizenship in order to live there.
Two Jewish teens are found guilty of the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned to death in the Jerusalem Forest in 2014. The teens are not identified because they were minors at the time of the crime. American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz, 18, is killed in a shooting in the West Bank. Schwartz, of Sharon, Massachusetts, is memorialized by the New England Patriots, his favorite team, with a moment of silence prior to their Nov. 23 game against the Buffalo Bills. F. Glenn Miller Jr., the white supremacist found guilty of killing three people at two suburban Kansas City Jewish institutions, is sentenced to death. Miller was convicted of capital murder in September. The European Union approves guidelines for the labeling of products from West Bank settlements. Under the guidelines, goods produced in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem or the Golan Heights must be labeled. Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemns the move. The Anti-Defamation League reports a 30 percent jump in anti-Israel activity on American college campuses. According to the report, over 150 “explicitly anti-Israel programs” have taken place or are scheduled to take place on American campuses, an increase from 105 the year before. The Rabbinical Council of America adopts a policy prohibiting the ordination or hiring of women rabbis. The policy, the result of a vote of the main Orthodox rabbinical group’s membership, proscribes the usage of any title implying rabbinic status, specifically naming “maharat”— an acronym meaning “female spiritual, legal and Torah leader” used by Yeshivat Maharat, a New York school ordaining Orthodox women as clergy. continued on page 16
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Six men are sentenced for their roles in a plot to violently coerce a man to grant his wife a religious divorce; most are given prison terms. In December, two rabbis involved are sentenced to jail time. In all, 10 people, three of them rabbis, are convicted for their roles in kidnapping and torturing recalcitrant husbands for a fee.
Israel arrests several suspects in connection with a July firebombing in the West Bank town of Duma that killed three members of a Palestinian family, including an 18-month-old baby. The suspects later allege they were tortured by the Israeli security agency Shin Bet, which denies the claim. Weeks later, video emerges
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showing friends of the suspects celebrating the killings at a wedding in Jerusalem, drawing condemnations from across the political spectrum. The United Nations recognizes Yom Kippur as an official holiday. Starting in 2016, no official meetings will take place on the Jewish Day of Atonement at the international body’s New York headquarters, and Jewish employees there will be able to miss work without using vacation hours. Other religious holidays that enjoy the same status are Christmas, Good Friday, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. An Orthodox gay conversion group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, is ordered by a New Jersey court to cease operations. In a lawsuit filed in 2012, the group, which claims to be able to eliminate homosexual urges, was found to be in violation of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. Violinist Itzhak Perlman is named the third recipient of the Genesis Prize. The annual $1 million prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” is funded by a group of Russian philanthropists to honor individuals who have achieved international renown in their professional fields and serve as role models through their commitment to Jewish values. Brazil refuses to confirm Dani Dayan, a former West Bank settler leader, as Israeli ambassador to the country because of his support for the settlements. Following a months-long standoff Dayan, a native of Argentina, is reassigned as consul general in New York. Samuel “Sandy” Berger, who served as President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, dies at 70, succumbing to cancer. Berger was a prominent player at the 2000 Camp David summit.
January 2016 In response to unspecified complaints that products produced in the West Bank are mislabeled as originating in Israel, the U.S. customs agency reiterates its policy that any goods originating in the West Bank or Gaza Strip be labeled as such. After decades of squabbling, the Israeli government approves a compromise to expand the non-Orthodox Jewish prayer section of the Western Wall. Under terms of the deal, the size of the non-Orthodox section of the Western Wall will double to nearly 10,000 square feet and both areas will be accessible by a single entrance. The Brown University chapter of the historically Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi separates from the international organization over biases against non-Jewish members as well as its handling of sexual assault. In an op-ed in the Brown student newspaper, chapter president Ben Owens says the group objected to the “demeaning way that some representatives of AEPi National treated our non-Jewish brothers.” The Cleveland Cavaliers fire IsraeliAmerican head coach David Blatt, who led the team to the NBA Finals in 2015. Blatt releases a statement saying he was “grateful” for the chance to serve as coach. Led by LeBron James, the Cavaliers go on to win their first NBA championship under Blatt’s successor, Tyronn Lue. R abbi Eugene Borowitz, an influential thinker in Reform Judaism, dies at 91. A longtime faculty member at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion, Borowitz was the author of 19 books and hundreds of articles on Jewish thought. The Mount Freedom Jewish Center in New Jersey announces it has hired a woman using the title “rabbi.” Lila Kagedan, a graduate of New York’s Yeshivat Maharat, was ordained in June as an Orthodox
Rosh Hashanah clergywoman. The school permits graduates to choose their title; Kagedan is the first to choose rabbi. Hundreds of protesters at a gay conference in Chicago, charging “pinkwashing” of Israeli misdeeds, disrupt a reception for Israeli LGBT activists, forcing the event to shut down. The disruption is strongly condemned days later by several leading gay activists, including former Rep. Barney Frank and Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that led to the legalization of gay marriage.
February 2016 Sen. Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary, becoming the first Jewish candidate in American history to win a presidential primary. The
Vermont Independent, seeking the Democratic nomination, handily defeats former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, commanding 60 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 38 percent. The Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul wins an Oscar for best foreign language film. Other Jewish winners at the 2016 Academy Awards are Amy, the documentary about the late Jewish singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, and Michael Sugar, who wins for best picture as co-producer of Spotlight, the story of the Boston Globe investigative team led by Jewish editor Marty Baron that exposed sex scandals in the Catholic Church. The
condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, saying it “promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel.” Passed by a vote of 229-51, the motion was introduced by the opposition Conservative Party but won support from the ruling Liberal Party. The Jewish Theological Seminary announces the sale of $96 million worth of real estate assets and its intention to use the funds to upgrade its New York facility. The seminary, considered the flagship institution of the Conservative movement, says it intends to build a state-of-the-art library, auditorium and conference facilities, and a new 150-bed residence hall on its main campus. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump disavows the support of David Duke after earlier claiming he knew nothing about the former Ku Klux Klan leader’s views. In response, the Anti-Defamation
League announces it will be providing all presidential candidates with information about hate groups so they can better determine which endorsements to accept and reject.
March 2016 Jewish comedian Garry Shandling dies in Los Angeles at 66. Shandling wrote for several sitcoms before starring in his own shows, including The Larry Sanders Show, which aired on HBO in the 1990s and earned Shandling 18 Emmy Award nominations. Venice launches a yearlong commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the world’s first official Jewish ghetto. Among the many events scheduled continued on page 18
Teri and I wish you an easy fast and that you and your family may be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life. May 5777 be one of peace for you, your family, and Israel. Congressman& Mrs.
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for the anniversary is an appearance by Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who presides over a mock trial of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender character from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Microsoft pulls its artificial intelligence tweeting robot after it posts several anti-Semitic comments. The software company had launched the so-called chatbot as an experiment but quickly paused the endeavor after the controversial tweets, several of which expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.
High Holy Days • 5777 Join us as we worship with guest Rabbi Dan Roberts and Soloist Jim Hibberd
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
Eve of Rosh Hashanah Service • 8:00pm
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
Rosh Hashanah Worship • 10:30am
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 Kol Nidre Service • 8:00pm
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12
Yom Kippur Morning Service • 10:30am Discussion with guest Rabbi Dan Roberts • 2:00pm Afternoon Service • 3:00pm Yiskor & Concluding Service • 4:00pm Break-the-fast to follow in our Social Hall Youth Services • 10:30am Babysitting available upon request
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A Pew study of Israelis finds that 48 percent of the country’s Jews agree that Arabs should be “expelled or transferred” out of the country. The finding, the most shocking in a wide-ranging study of Israeli attitudes, is based on interviews with 5,600 Israelis conducted between October 2014 and May 2015. Israeli leaders condemn the actions of a solider caught on video shooting an apparently incapacitated Palestinian lying on the ground. “What happened today in Hebron does not represent the values of the IDF,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says following the release of the video, shot by the human rights group B’Tselem. The soldier is charged with manslaughter and later goes on trial. Thousands of delegates attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington featuring appearances by most contenders for the presidency—most controversially Donald Trump, who sparks much talk of protests and walkouts in the days leading up to the conclave. Speaking the morning after Trump’s address to the gathering, AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus issues a rare apology for Trump’s attacks on President Barack Obama, saying the group is “deeply disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with or condone.” Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and John Kasich also address the conference, while Bernie Sanders issues a written statement to the group from the campaign trail. Merrick Garland, the chief of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is nominated to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February, on the Supreme Court. In his acceptance speech, Garland emotionally recalls his grandparents who had fled anti-Semitism for better lives in the United States. Republicans vow not to consider his nomination during President Obama’s last year in office.
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, is the world’s richest Jew, according to Forbes. The magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires shows Zuckerberg surpassing Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to claim the top spot among Jews.
April 2016 Days ahead of the New York primary, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton engage in a heated exchange over Israel at a debate in Brooklyn, with the Vermont senator accusing the former secretary of state of neglecting the Palestinians and reiterating his charge that Israel used disproportionate force in Gaza in 2014. Clinton says she worked hard to bring peace to the region as secretary of state. Clinton won the primary in New York, home to the country’s largest Jewish population, 58–42 percent. A majority of professors at Oberlin College sign a letter condemning the “anti-Semitic Facebook posts” by a fellow faculty member. The letter, signed by 174 professors, does not name Joy Karega, the rhetoric and composition professor whose posts, including one accusing Israel and “Rothschild-led bankers” of responsibility for downing an airliner over Ukraine in 2014, drew widespread attention. Bernie Sanders suspends his Jewish outreach director after revelations of social media posts that used profanity to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Simone Zimmerman, a former activist with J Street, reportedly called Netanyahu a “manipulative asshole,” though she later changed the expletive to “politician.” The first same-sex Jewish wedding ceremony in Latin America is held at a synagogue in Argentina. Some 300 guests attend the wedding at the NCI Emanu El Temple in Buenos Aires.
Rosh Hashanah May 2016 Bernie Sanders names three prominent critics of Israel to the committee charged with formulating the Democratic Party platform: Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress; James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute; and Cornel West, a philosopher and supporter of the BDS movement. Days later, Sanders releases a statement emphasizing that while he supports Israel’s right to live in peace, lasting peace will not come without “fair and respectful treatment of the Palestinian people.” In an announcement timed to the annual independence celebrations in Israel, the nation’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports the population has risen to 8.52 million residents, a tenfold increase over the 806,000 in 1948 at the time of Israel’s founding. Britain’s Labour Party launches an investigation into anti-Semitism within the party one day after the suspension of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who said Adolf Hitler was a Zionist because he advocated moving Europe’s Jews to Israel. Morley Safer, a 46-year veteran of the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes, dies at 84 a week after retiring from the show. Safer, the winner of 12 Emmy Awards, helped turn American public opinion against the Vietnam War with his coverage of U.S. atrocities. Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and major backer of Republican candidates, endorses Donald Trump for the presidency. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Adelson cites Trump’s executive experience and the threat of a “third term” for President Obama if Hillary Clinton is elected. Adelson plans to spend more than ever on the 2016 presidential election, even in excess of $100 million, The New York Times reports. Julia Ioffe, a reporter who wrote a critical
profile of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, is deluged with anti-Semitic phone calls and messages on social media, including a cartoon of a Jew being executed. Ioffe files a police complaint about the threats. An 11-minute video showing what appears to be a Hasidic school principal sexually abusing a young boy refocuses attention on sex abuse in the haredi Orthodox community. The video, which prompts an investigation by state police, was filmed secretly from an overhead camera and posted on social media before being removed.
June 2016 Rabbi Maurice Lamm, the author of The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning and several other notable Jewish books, dies. First issued in 1969, the book is considered a seminal work on the topic of Jewish death and mourning rituals. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, already under fire over allegations of rampant anti-Semitism in his party, draws more criticism for seeming to compare Israel and the Islamic State terrorist group. “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations,” Corbyn said in remarks following the release of a report on anti-Semitism within Labour. The report found the party is not overrun by anti-Semitism but that there is an “occasionally toxic atmosphere.
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Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, is stabbed to death while sleeping in her bed in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba by a Palestinian teenager. The attacker, Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, had jumped the settlement fence and entered the sleeping girl’s bedroom. He later is shot and killed by civilian guards. Israel and Turkey sign a reconciliation agreement six years after relations were cut off following an Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. continued on page 20
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Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the raid. Under the agreement, Israel will create a $20 million humanitarian fund as compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims, which would not be released until Turkey passes legislation closing claims against the Israeli military for the deaths. Anti-Semitic incidents on American college campuses nearly doubled in 2015, the Anti-Defamation League reports. A total of 90 incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015, compared with 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014. The ADL audit records a total of 941 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2015, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year.
July 2016 Pope Francis visits Auschwitz, where he prays in silent contemplation and meets with Holocaust survivors. Francis also visits the cell of Polish priest and saint Maximilian Kolbe, who died at Auschwitz after taking the place of a condemned man. Francis is the third pope to visit the camp, following the Polish-born John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Debbie Wasserman Schultz steps down as leader of the Democratic National Committee following the emergence of emails showing senior DNC staffers sought to undercut the campaign of Jewish presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. One email, from Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall, alleges that Sanders is an atheist and that it could
be used against him. Marshall resigns in August. Bernie Sanders, the first Jew to win a major party presidential primary, endorses Hillary Clinton for president. At a rally in New Hampshire, Sanders said he would work with Clinton to keep Donald Trump from being elected. Goldie Michelson of Worcester, Massachusetts, the oldest living American, dies at home at the age of 113 and 11 months. Michelson, the daughter of Russian Jewish parents, immigrated with her family to Worcester when she was 2. Jared Kushner defends his father-in-law, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, from charges of anti-Semitism following the elder Trump’s tweeting of an image of Hillary Clinton with a sixpointed star reminiscent of a Star of David over a background of dollar bills. The tweet is later deleted. “I know that Donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-Semitic thinking,” Kushner said. Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, author, activ ist and Holocaust survivor, dies at 87 of natural causes. Wiesel, who wrote Night and The Jews of Silence, was well-known internationally for his books and as a leading voice of conscience.
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Israel’s highest rabbinical court rejects a conversion performed by a prominent American rabbi, Haskel Lookstein. The conversion had been rejected originally in April by a court in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petach Tikvah. Lookstein, the former rabbi of Kehilath Jeshurun, a tony modern Orthodox synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, performed the conversion of Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
August 2016 Esther Jungreis, a pioneer in the Jewish outreach movement and founder of the organization Hineni, dies at 80. American gymnast Aly Raisman wins three medals at the Rio Olympics, a gold for the overall U.S. women’s team and two individual silvers. Israel takes home two medals at the games, both bronze in judo, while American Jewish swimmer Anthony Ervin at 35 becomes the oldest person to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event. The Rio games also pay tribute to the 11 Israelis killed at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Fyvush Finkel, an Emmy Award-winning actor who began his career performing in the Yiddish theater, dies at 93. The Movement for Black Lives adopts a platform describing Israel as an “apartheid state” and claims it perpetrates “genocide” against the Palestinian people. The group, a coalition of 50 organizations that emerged from the Black Lives Matter movement, is harshly criticized by Jewish organizations. Gene Wilder, a comedic actor who played the title characters in the films Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and also starred in the Mel Brooks’ Western spoof Blazing Saddles, dies at 83.
Shaboom! Online animated series launches new episodes in time for Jewish High Holidays San Francisco, CA—Shaboom!— the innovative animated web series from non-profit BimBam (formerly G-dcast)—is back with five allnew episodes, including one for the High Holidays about “Saying I’m Sorry (Slicha).” With contributors from Sesame Workshop, Amazon Studios, Electronic Arts et al, and Pixar, Shaboom! combines the best elements of children’s television with wisdom from the Jewish tradition to teach everyday values to children through magic, comedy and silly songs. Called “A ‘Little Einsteins,’ For Little Mensches” by The Jewish Week, Shaboom! is perfect for families with preschoolers, especially those looking for fun and accessible Jewish content around the High Holidays. Episodes feature the “magical sparks” Gabi and Rafael who work to fix the world, while focusing on that episode’s theme. Along with the episodes for kids (about eight minutes each), additional videos for parents (two minutes each; released later this fall) delve into the different Jewish values explaining “what’s Jewish” and giving parents the tools and confidence to model the values. Resource videos will teach crafts, songs and communications strategies for parents and caregivers. Visit BimBam.com/shaboom for more information on Shaboom! “Shaboom! combines the best of kids’ entertainment with Jewish learning in
a way that parents can integrate easily into everyday hectic schedules,” says Sarah Lefton, executive director of BimBam. Major partners from the Jewish world include the Union for Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, JCC Association, Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library Alliance, and InterfaithFamily, among many others. Since its founding, BimBam has created more than 200 animated videos and apps for people curious about the basics of Judaism. Accessible for free on platforms like Youtube, iTunes and Facebook, BimBam’s goal is to create a comprehensive free multimedia introduction to Judaism with zero barriers to entry. The Shaboom! early childhood initiative is generously funded by leading Jewish philanthropists and foundations, including the Peleh Fund, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library Alliance, the Bernstein Family Foundation, The Covenant Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and one anonymous foundation. The Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah made the creation of parent resources possible. Forbes called G-dcast, as it was known previously, “the Schoolhouse Rock for Jews,” and its approach and products been featured on NPR, in the Wall Street Journal and CNN.com.
Shaboom! Release Schedule: Fall 2016 106. WASTE NOT —Taking Care of Nature/Bal Taschit, available now 107. HERO HEART—Courage of the Heart/Ometz Lev, available now 108. GET ALONG, GANG—Peace in the Home/Shalom Bayit, September 21 109. FINDERS, RETURNERS—Returning Lost Objects/Hashavat Aveidah, September 28 110. REALLY, REALLY SORRY—Saying I’m Sorry/Slicha, October 5
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Celebrity chefs share their Rosh Hashanah recipes Beth Kissileff
(JTA)—Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, gives Jews a sense of change and new beginnings. One of the ways to signal that renewal and optimism is to engage our senses: We listen to the shofar, the clarion call of the season, and we eat symbolic foods, such as round challah (representing the cyclical nature of life) and enjoy the sweetness of apples dipped in honey. But beyond those basics, what are the foods that
make Rosh Hashanah special? JTA queried a number of high-profile Jewish chefs about which dishes and recipes are a must on their holiday tables. Many of the dishes the chefs shared are family recipes, from mothers and grandmothers; a homage to those who fed and nourished us in the past. Many have offered a fresh twist on their mishpucha’s must-haves— meaning that, in addition to straightforward ingredients lists and directions, embedded within each heirloom recipe is the
hope that, by making these traditional foods, cooks today will build bridges to future generations. Whether you’re looking to add some sugar or some spice to your Rosh Hashanah meal, read on for some fresh twists on Jewish classics from some well-known names: Andrew Zimmern, Joan Nathan, Jeffrey Yoskowitz, Rabbi Hanoch Hecht.
Joan Nathan’s chicken soup with matzah balls Joan Nathan is the author of 10 cookbooks, including Jewish Cooking in America. For Nathan, it’s all about the chicken soup. This recipe is courtesy of her 103-year-old mother, Pearl. Nathan explains the recipe is a bit of a mashup of various cultures: “She loves getting chicken specials, and [she] also loves dark meat, so she adapted the recipe to what she likes to eat,” Nathan says. “Because she lives in Rhode Island and escarole is a very Italian vegetable [Rhode Island has a large Italian-American population] and her matzo balls, coming from my father’s German tradition, are deliciously al dente.”
Pearl Nathan’s chicken soup with matzah balls From The New American Cooking, reprinted with permission from Knopf Ingredients For the soup 6 whole chicken legs 20 cups water 2 celery stalks sliced into 2-inch chunks 2 whole carrots cut into 2-inch chunks 1 large onion peeled and quartered 1 parsnip cut into 2-inch chunks 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 8 ounces escarole For the matzah balls 3 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil 6 large eggs, separated well beaten 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg 1¾ cups matzah meal 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 12 cups water
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Preparation To make the soup 1. Put the water in a soup pot, add the chicken legs and bring the water to a boil. Simmer slowly for 2 hours, uncovered, skimming off the fat and foam as they rise to the top of the soup. 2. After 2 hours, add the celery, carrots, onion, parsnip, dill and parsley. Continue cooking slowly, uncovered, for another hour. 3. Set a strainer over a large bowl and strain the soup. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the soup, covered, overnight. 4. The next day peel off the layer of fat that has formed on the soup’s surface. Bring the soup to a boil in a large pot (or freeze it for another day). Before serving, swirl in the escarole and add the matzah balls (recipe follows), cooking for a few minutes. To make the matzah balls: 1. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken fat or vegetable oil with the eggs, salt, nutmeg, matzah meal and parsley. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. 2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Take the matzah mix out of the refrigerator and, after dipping your hands into a bowl of cold water, gently form balls the size of large walnuts. Add salt to the water and drop in the balls. Simmer slowly, covered, for about 20 minutes, remove from water with a slotted spoon and add to the soup.
Rabbi Hanoch Hecht’s dessert tzimmes Rabbi Hanoch Hecht, a competitor on Chopped, is a Chabad rabbi in Rhinebeck, New York. Hecht chose tzimmes, a traditional sweet stew made of carrots, explaining that carrots are called “merren” in Yiddish, which also means “increase.” “The very fact that its name connotes increase makes it auspicious to eat carrots during the New Year,” he says, “as it represents an increase in good things for the coming year.”
DESSERT TZIMMES Courtesy of Hecht Ingredients 1 bunch rainbow carrots Simple syrup Fresh figs Margarine Brown sugar Preparation 1. Peel carrots and boil in simple syrup until tender . 2. Slice figs in half and caramelize in a pan 4 minutes on medium heat. 3. Once tender, add the carrots to the figs . 4. Add butter and sprinkle a teaspoon of brown sugar . 5. Candy the carrots for about 4 minutes and you are ready to serve.
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Jeffrey Yoskowitz’s herbed gefilte fish Jeffrey Yoskowitz is co-founder, with Liz Alpern, of the Gefilteria, and co-author of the forthcoming cookbook The Gefilte Manifesto. “Homemade gefilte fish became such a staple for me at the Rosh Hashanah table that when my grandmother stopped cooking and the local deli closed, I began preparing the holiday delicacy for my whole family,” Yoskowitz says. “It wasn’t a holiday without the good stuff, as far as I was concerned, plus making it myself was very empowering. Since my family’s roots are Polish, mine is a (lightly) sweetened gefilte fish, which is fitting for the New Year celebrations, when we’re so fixated on sweetness.”
spiritual meaning in modern life. Our diverse membership reflects the richness of the American Jewish experience. We strive to balance the timeless with innovation. Come meet us and let us welcome you home.
HERBED GEFILTE FISH From The Gefilte Manifesto, reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books Ingredients 1 small onion, coarsely chopped 12 ounces whitefish fillet, skin removed, flesh coarsely chopped 1¼ tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil 1 large egg 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh watercress (or spinach) 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill 1 teaspoon kosher salt ¹⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 1 tablespoon sugar Horseradish relish, store bought or homemade, for serving Preparation 1. If there are any bones left in your fillets, remove the larger ones by hand, but don’t fret about the smaller ones since they’ll be pulverized in the food processor. You can buy your fish pre-ground from a fishmonger (usually a Jewish fishmonger) to ensure all the bones are removed, but try to cook your fish that day since ground fish loses its freshness faster. 2. Place the onion in the bowl of a large food processor and process until finely ground and mostly liquefied. Add the fish fillets to the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients, except for the horseradish. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture is light-colored and evenly textured throughout. Scoop into a bowl and give it an additional stir to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout. 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and fill the pan with the fish mixture. Smooth out with a spatula. 4. Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The terrine is finished when the corners and ends begin to brown. The loaf will give off some liquid. Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan and slicing. Serve with horseradish relish.
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Here’s how to turn ‘epic fails’ into fresh starts Elana Zelony
RICHARDSON, Texas ( JTA)— Urbandictionary.com is an open-source site where the average citizen contributes definitions to new and old words and slang. As the High Holidays approach, I’ve been contemplating the phrase “epic fail.” According to one entry on Urbandictionary.com, epic fail means “complete and total failure when success should have been reasonably easy to attain.” Epic fail defines most of the sins I contemplate during the High Holidays. I should have been able to succeed, but I didn’t because I’m human and I have weaknesses. I spend the period that begins with the Hebrew month of Elul and culminates with Rosh Hashanah and
Yom Kippur thinking of the many times when I easily could have been more kind, patient and optimistic. It’s not that I’m incapable of those behaviors; I have a normal psyche and can be a good person. However, as a human I failed to be my best self during the past year on numerous occasions. I know I’m not alone in my epic fail. Look at the stories we’re told about the Jewish people in the Torah. The epic fail of the Jewish people was worshipping the Golden Calf, and the epic fail of Moses was smashing the Ten Commandments carved with God’s own finger. All the people had to do was wait until Moses returned with God’s law, but they panicked during their leader’s absence and sought security in a golden image. All Moses had to do was
reprimand the people. Instead he flies into a rage and smashes the holy tablets. They were capable of doing better. Here’s the good news. Elul, the month leading up to the High Holidays, is one of contemplation. According to the midrash, on the first day of Elul, Moses began carving a second set of tablets with his own hands. Carving the second set of tablets is about starting over again after failure. The High Holidays cycle demands that we examine the ways we have failed, but it also gives us the strength to start anew. On the first of Elul (September 4 this year), we began re-carving our own smashed tablets. It’s hard work to hew meaning out of stone, but the effort leads to renewed relationship and hope for the future.
Some choose to gather in small groups before the holidays, using the time to spiritually prepare. Find out if your local synagogues offer Elul classes. If a class isn’t possible, check out websites to help with your preparation for the High Holidays during Elul, including Jewels of Elul and Ritual Well. On Rosh Hashanah, if I see the blisters on my friends and family’s hands, I’ll point to my own. We’ll nod knowingly and smile at one another. We’ll affirm the hard work that went into re-carving ourselves. Together, we’ll celebrate the New Year as an opportunity to start all over again. —Rabbi Elana Zelony, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, Texas, is a fellow with Rabbis Without Borders.
May this New Year be filled with health, happiness and sweet moments for you and your family.
L’shanah Tovah! from
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High Holiday services in the Outer Banks
he Jewish Community of the Outer Banks includes permanent and part-time residents of Dare and Currituck Counties, as well as vacationers. Unaffiliated, JCOB uses Reform prayer books for daily and High Holiday services and are “Conservative/Reform” in style. George Lurie, lay leader, has been responsible for religious activities since 2003. JCOB purchased a Torah in 2012 and uses it for all religious services.
2016/5777 High Holiday Service schedule Rosh Hashanah Monday, October 3 Services: 9:30 am–noon, followed by a luncheon Tashlich: 3 pm–at the dock, corner of W. Hayman St. and Bay Drive, KDH
Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Kol Nidre: 7 pm Wednesday, October 12 Yom Kippur and Yizkor: 9:30 am–noon Neelah + Break-the-Fast: 4:15 pm
Services will be held at the UUCOB building at the corner of Herbert Perry and Kitty Hawk Roads in Kitty Hawk (831 Herbert Perry Road). To participate by reading an English part, receiving an Aliyah or blowing the shofar, email George Lurie at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.jcobx.com or email email@example.com. There is no charge to attend.
Test for Tay-Sachs Hillary Kener
eptember is Tay-Sachs Awareness Month, which is perhaps the best known Jewish genetic disease thanks to the large scale public health awareness campaign throughout the 1970s and 1980s. During those years, Tay-Sachs screening became so widespread and mainstream that the devastating disease’s prevalence within the Jewish community was reduced by 90%. Now, the children of that screened generation need to be reminded of the importance of getting tested for Tay-Sachs, as well as the additional 100 diseases that are now included on the genetic screening panel. The modern day public health initiative bringing this issue to the forefront is JScreen, a national non-profit genetic screening initiative with an innovative technology of genetic screening that can
be completed at home. JScreen can test for more than 100 different genetic disease and their new Jewish panel screens for more than 40 diseases that are common among people of Jewish ancestry. Even more, JScreen provides results through a certified genetic counselor, so questions can be asked, results can be understood, and options discussed to help ensure a healthy baby. JScreen offers this suggestion for a first good deed to start the New Year off right. JScreen challenges readers of this article to mention genetic screening to five people over the course of the High Holidays. Whether it’s at a meal, services, or in passing, it is possible to change someone’s life. Tell them to check out JScreen.org and from there they can learn more, request a ‘DNA spit kit’ to be mailed to their home, or ask a question.
Interested in services? Contact Pam Gladstone. 422 Shirley Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23517 625-7821 Sharing lives. Enriching families.
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One place swing-state voters won’t see Clinton and Trump this season: The rabbi’s pulpit Ben Sales
L’Shana Tova Tikatevu
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NEW YORK ( JTA)—When Rosh Hashanah came around last year, Rabbi Aaron Gaber wanted to grapple with an issue roiling the country. So he decided to focus his sermon on racism. But several members of Brothers of Israel, a 120-family Conservative synagogue in suburban Philadelphia, weren’t pleased. “Some of the feedback from some of my congregants has caused us some consternation,” Gaber says. Congregants accused the rabbi of calling them racists, he recalled, “which I didn’t do.” This year, with the presidential election looming just one month after Yom Kippur, Gaber will pick a much more pareve topic for his High Holidays sermons: how congregants can be respectful to one another. He won’t directly address the election. Instead he will relate to some of the rhetoric around the campaign. “One piece that I’m looking to share with my congregation is a spirituality checkup, and to do quite a bit of reflection on who we are and what we represent as Jews and human beings,” Gaber says. “What does it mean to treat one another with respect?” Gaber’s congregation is in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, a politically divided area in a swing state. In 2012, President Barack Obama won the county over Mitt Romney by just 1 percentage point. In skirting direct election talk on the High Holidays, Gaber will be joining rabbis in “swing counties” across America preferring instead to touch on the vote by speaking about values or personal conduct. Spiritual leaders from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida note that synagogues are legally prohibited from endorsing candidates. Anyway, they say,
political talk should not come from the pulpit. Instead, when the rabbis address hundreds or thousands of congregants on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they will encourage them to have compassionate conversations. Or they will talk about how the winner—Republican or Democrat—can be a moral leader after Election Day. “How possible is it to govern and to do so with honesty and with sensitivity?” asks Rabbi Richard Birnholz of the Reform Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa, Florida, floating a potential sermon topic. “I need to be a rabbi to my people. It’s very easy to have politics or ideology—side taking—get in the way of that, and then I can’t really fulfill my real role, which isn’t as a political or social activist, but as a rabbi.” One local rabbi who promises to steer clear of stating his opinion from the pulpit is Rabbi Aron Margolin of Chabad of Tidewater. “When I look for a candidate for president, I’m concerned about the candidate’s attitude toward Israel,” he says. “That’s very important to me. But at the end of the day, we’re not electing a president of Israel, we’re electing a president of the United States.” As far as discussing the election during the High Holidays, Margolin says, “I’m not going to spend my limited time on politics. Every person has to make his own decision. What I need to do is inspire people to their connection to Judaism and the torah and pray that they make the right decision.” The rabbis’ plans track with survey data of sermons at churches across the country. An August survey by the Pew Research Center found that 64 percent of churchgoers heard their pastor discuss election issues from the pulpit, but only 14 percent heard their pastor endorse or speak out against a candidate. Rabbis in all four states said their
Rosh Hashanah synagogues had significant populations of voters for both parties. Some said political discourse had made the atmosphere at synagogue tense, while others don’t feel the pressure. Assistant Rabbi Michael Danziger of the Reform Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati says the constant stream of campaign ads doesn’t help. “I do think all of the tools to make conversation go off the rails are present here,” says Danziger, who graduated rabbinical school this year. “So much advertising, so much attention from the campaigns. I think it happens everywhere, but I think any rhetoric that might fuel the elements behind that stuff will certainly be present here, and at a fever pitch by November.” When they aren’t at the pulpit, rabbis from swing states have been politically active. Rabbi Sissy Coran of the Rockdale Temple, another Cincinnati Reform synagogue, touted a voter registration drive that the Union for Reform Judaism will be conducting in North Carolina. Birnholz teaches classes at his synagogue about biblical prophets using current events as context. Gaber wants to work with the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council to educate congregants about election issues. In December, he and Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy of the nearby Reconstructionist Congregation Kol Emet signed a statement by the Bucks County Rabbis’ Council denouncing Republican nominee Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. “It’s worse than it’s ever been in my lifetime,” Boswell-Levy says of the national political climate. “I think that the
way Trump speaks is incredibly troubling, and people react to it in very strong ways —whether they’re appalled or disgusted by him, or whether they feel that their views are validated by him.” And rabbis have also discussed politics throughout the year in smaller prayer services. Boswell-Levy feels she can address sensitive issues such as the global refugee crisis or protests in Ferguson, Missouri, at Friday night services, which draw a smaller crowd than the High Holidays. Rabbi Yechiel Morris of the Young Israel of Southfield, an Orthodox congregation in suburban Detroit, criticized Trump earlier in the campaign and drew backlash. Sermonizing against Trump again during the High Holidays would be pointless, he says, as “you don’t need to repeat yourself.” “I didn’t focus so much on his politics, policies and things of that nature, but more on the character and language he uses, and how upsetting that is,” Morris says. “There were some members who felt I should not have highlighted that one particular candidate.” Rabbi Steven Rubenstein of the Conservative Congregation Beth Ahm, also in suburban Detroit, also thinks that politics from the pulpit serves little purpose. Involved congregants know their rabbis’ political leanings, no matter the sermon topic. “People are listening, and they don’t need to be hit over the head, told what to do,” he says. “A very high percentage of the congregants would know who their rabbi would vote for without them saying it.”
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HAPPY NEW YEAR
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